The Sports Illustrated jinx may be alive and well, as the New Orleans Saints learned last week. The Saints’ 10-game winning streak and chatter about QB Drew Brees being the hands-down favorite to win the NFL MVP award prompted the magazine to put Brees on the cover. Well, we all know the peculiar things that happen to athletes or teams that are featured on the magazine’s cover. Most of us say we don’t believe in jinxes, but we are the same folks who avoid walking under ladders or who turn the other way after a black cat crosses our path. But then there is this …
If your buddy in a bar asked you to name the top offensive teams in the NFL, you would probably press the bet, get the stakes as high as you could and then figure out how you were going to spend your winnings. It’s an easy question when you consider the Saints and QB Drew Brees seem to be setting new standards at scoring points while the Rams and Chiefs are as proficient in their own schemes as evidenced by last Monday night’s 115-110 Rams victory. Excuse me, that was the Warriors and Lakers score, but whatever the final tally (54-51), both teams proved they are right up there with New Orleans offensively.
The Saints have never been here before after nine games, and I am not talking about wins and losses. Their current 8-1 record stands second to the 9-0 start run off by the eventual Super Bowl champions in 2009, but that’s not the HERE I am talking about. At this point of the season, no Saints player has been the leading candidate for NFL Most Valuable Player. Not even during the magical Super Bowl year was QB Drew Brees given as much consideration for the honor as previous winners Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.
When you hear players and coaches say it takes individuals to make a team, you probably think they are talking about the various personalities who man critical playing positions.But those who are fortunate enough to be around a professional sports franchise know that many anonymous individuals help make up the team. Like Glennon “Silky” Powell, the Saints long-time assistant equipment manager who died last week a few days before his 72nd birthday.
Kentucky win calmed an aggravated Saints fan
Yeah, I watched the Saints get pulverized Sunday by Tulane – or was it Nicholls? - but I wasn’t devastated. Why? Two reasons. Reason One, it was the first game of a long season, and how many times have we seen the better teams at the end of the season sleepwalking in September? In fact, last year the Saints lost their first two games, and Who Dat Nation was about to second-line off the Crescent City Connection when the team rocketed back into contention.
by Jim W. Miller
Wait. Listen. Hear it? That squeaky, puckering sound you hear is the tightening sphincters of college basketball coaches around the land after last week’s revelations released by Yahoo Sports. One head coach has been fired, another is as good as done, dark clouds surround others and several assistant coaches have already walked the plank. The remainder, mostly innocent, are scrambling to make certain they know what their assistants are or are not doing.
If vengeance is a dish best served cold, the Saints’ next playoff game will be played in the right spot. The Accuweather forecast for Minneapolis and vicinity is for eight inches of snow late in the week followed by a high of zero and low of minus-14 on game day. If you’re thinking of attending, “put on two of everything,” as Jim Finks, the only man who ever headed up both franchises, would have advised.
by Jim W. Miller
There was little question and little doubt the last time the Saints made it to the Super Bowl. Our local heroes went through the 2009 season like a buzz saw, winning their first 13 games and clinching the NFC top seed before the partridge flew into the pear tree. Oh, they had close wins at St. Louis, Washington and Atlanta, and, yes, they lost the last three meaningless games in a strategic move to rest the starters for the playoffs. But there was little doubt the Saints could and would win the Super Bowl.